Developing a framework for sustainability assessment of Reverse Osmosis desalination plants in Gaza Strip
Rapid urbanization and water resource depletion have compelled regions worldwide to consider reverse osmosis desalination as a solution for securing a sustainable water supply. However, the sustainability of RO desalination plants especially in the Gaza Strip remains a critical concern. So, a comprehensive evaluation of the sustainability of these facilities is essential. This paper presents a framework for assessing the sustainability of reverse osmosis desalination plants in the Gaza Strip, with the aim of promoting informed decision-making and addressing the multifaceted challenges associated with water resource management in this area. The generated framework was applied on the southern desalination plant in Gaza as a case study. The framework integrates technical, environmental, economic, social and institutional set-up categories utilizing a variety of multi criteria decision analysis methods such as analytical hierarchy process, weighted summation and swing methods. The framework was built depending on a list of sustainability indicators that were carefully selected, and attributed to each sustainability category. Then, a group of local specialists in the desalination field were involved to determine the relative weight of the sustainability categories and their indicators. Finally, multi criteria analysis was applied to find the global sustainability index that reflects the desalination plant's sustainability status. The southern desalination plant was found to be partially sustainable with a global sustainability index value of 65%. Finally, this research promotes sustainable water management in regions like Gaza strip by guiding informed decisions on RO desalination plants, emphasizing the need for ongoing sustainability efforts.